Tuesday, November 01, 2016

2015 Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0

It's a bit embarrassing that I only had this car for a few months before that little voice in my head told me that I'm just too old for this shit. I guess it's bad that I came from an S60 that probably had the comfiest leather seats of any car in its class to the most uncomfortable ones for a commuter. Also, having more liquid cash for other needed purchases is a good thing for one's state of mind as well.

So what went wrong? Nothing really, so I only got myself to blame. It was a random summer bug that told me I needed a change. I did test drive a few other FR-S's and also the newer Miata prior to setting my eyes on this car, but I think I should've looked at it more rationally to really analyze what I liked and didn't like. When I purchased this Release Series 1.0 car, I had to drive 4-5 sum hours one-way to get it, so it was a done deal by the time I arrived. After I test drove it once at the dealer I knew that it was too low and the exhaust was too loud, but I wasn't about to turn around and go home empty-handed so I went through with it. Lesson learned about remote buying.

  • Super fast/cold air conditioning. You don't have to wait long at all until the AC gets very cold. I think it has to do with the car being a Subaru and for some reason Subaru engines have always been coupled with great AC compressors, but yeah super fast and super cold.
  • Best handling of any car I've ever driven. You can corner at 50 and it won't have an inch of body roll. Steering wheel was a great size and had a nice grip.
  • Best brakes of any car I've ever driven. A few times I had to do some emergency stops and two things happened: the first was that there was no forward body shift in the chassis (crazy solid feeling) and the second was that I stopped on a dime.
  • The USB audio was super fast in connecting and played every song in my collection without any hassle. (The Volvo didn't like half of my MP3s)
  • Very attractive on the outside and it got lots of looks. That is, of course, because it was bright yellow, but the other reason is that the car just looked hot.
  • Horrible blind spots. You have to 100% depend on your side mirrors. Maybe all sports cars are like that?
  • The whole left side of the instrument cluster is worthless. 50% of the speedometer goes up to 90 mph. WTF. The car will never go that fast and you're stuck looking at these super small increments on that side. To combat this they do have a digital speedometer in the middle, but it's sorta small. Either way, bad design and a waste of real estate.
  • The sport seats are 'way' too sport. They are super uncomfortable and jut into your sides. Lots of bolster for cornering but my commute is a 20 mile straight line.
  • The RS1.0 was lowered a bit from the factory. I found out later that this is too low to be able to go through those automatic car washes. I rather enjoyed those things so strike one.
  • The RS1.0 also had a TRD exhaust. I would've loved this back when I was an undergrad but now? Hell no. Super annoying and I felt like a prick driving around such an obnoxious sounding vehicle. The exhaust also told everyone around you what your right foot was doing.
  • By default the car loved up-shifting so you'd be tooling around at 40 mph and totally be in 6th gear which would equal no power at all. I frequently found myself driving in manual mode or using the paddle shifters because the tranny was too damn dumb. I later read that if you put the car into sport mode it would alleviate 80% of the odd upshifting programming, but the downside to that was that I would be tooling around in a lower gear and would constantly hear that damn grumble from the exhaust.
  • The turning radius wasn't all that great compared to other smaller cars. I mean the Fit and the Prius both had way better turning circles that this car. Not sure why the design caused this.
  • The car has no room. I knew that the back seat was unusable but seriously it felt so cramped in the driver's seat that some days I didn't even want to drive home; kinda like how you feel when you're stuck between 2 big dudes in the middle seat on an airplane.
  • The car had push-button start but nothing else. No other luxuries that I've grown to enjoy.
    • No heated seats
    • No steering wheel controls
    • No Homelink gate/garage door opener
    • No automatic, electric seat
  • I disliked the tranny on the car. I don't know if it's because the Volvo had more gears, it had a turbo, or maybe I got used to the Prius and its smooth CVT, but I don't like feeling when a car downshifts to gain speed. It feels cheap, just like my old 1994 Civic DX.
So yeah in the end I didn't like the car anymore and a part of me very much regretted trading in the Volvo even though the problems that that car had annoyed me as well. It's surprising how content I am driving the Prius again though. Great gas mileage and knowing that I'm saving money when I'm putt putt'ing along at slower speeds. It does have close to no acceleration and still drives like a boat, but for now it's a perfect commuter car and there's nothing I really want at a price range that the market is selling at.